Plumes of Golden Larch

On a drive north of Ternei last October I could not pull my eyes from the autumn colors outside the truck window. Closer to the Sea of Japan, the mountain slopes crowding the road were fiery with senescing oak leaves and further bloodied by the setting sun. Following the contours of these low mountains was like bobbing among waves of frozen crimson. The vegetation changed with elevation; as we ascended the Sobolevka Pass my eyes lingered on slopes adorned with plumes of golden larch interspersed by the lateral strokes of white birch already bare. Two very different sets of autumn colors—both breathtaking.